This week’s giveaway is coming from Kristi who owns the Etsy shop Tickety Bu. Kristi hand dyes beautiful blankets, teethers and towels in amazing blends of color. Let’s find out a little more about Kristi.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, I’m Kristi, fabric artist and owner of Tickety Bu. I live with my husband and three kids in upstate New York, about an hour north of NYC, although we’re originally from the south. We love this area though, so much history, the convenience of the city, but the benefits of rural living as well. It’s our favorite part of the US by far.
What inspires your creations?
My products are born from necessity first. Tickety Bu was started with just one product, cloth prefolds. My second child was a heavy wetter and I loved prefolds, but couldn’t find one that functioned the way I needed. I worked to develop a diaper that fit my needs. Each and every product I make was developed from a need we had in our own home, and they are designed for maximum functionality as well as a superior tactile experience (which is really just a long way of saying I make things that work well and feel great).
My color combinations, or colorways, are developed from pretty much anything I see around me. From colors I see on a hike, to the colors of a fruitcake, I’m always inspired by the world around me. I’m a strong visual thinker, so that part is actually the fun part for me.
What are your favorite materials to use?
Bamboo of course! I mill my fabric in a bamboo, organic cotton blend so that it will be highly functional. I want it to last, to be kind to the earth, and to feel incredible. I love bamboo hemp blends as well, I just haven’t been able to perfect the one I want.
How do you balance you family life with creating?
A schedule. I know it sounds boring and rigid, but a detailed schedule allows me to balance home life with work very well. It also gives my kids regular time with me and still lets me get things done. I have an intense work schedule, so it was key for me to make sure that I had enough time for family too.
How do you keep the inspiration well pumping?
If I feel burnt out, or like I can’t create anything new, I take a break and play with the kids. They are a never ending source of inspiration to me and always renew my spirits.
When did you start creating?
I have been sewing since I was a teen. I am a graduate of North Carolina State University Design School and I’ve been doing something along these lines ever since, so I’d say I’ve always been creating. But Tickety Bu specifically has been around for 4 years.
How do you encourage children’s creativity?
That’s easy, I don’t. I know that sounds silly, but my kids never need encouragement. Maybe that’s because they are always surrounded by color and new things. Who knows. We do crafts or art every day in addition to school, so I feel they get a good balance between more tangible education and the expression of their creativity. I also make sure that we experience music daily in some way, whether it be their formal music classes, or just picking some songs to dance silly to. Music is a great way to free conventions and get the creative ideas flowing. And, they take the lead in their school studies, so we are always learning and exploring an area that they have interest in, which helps too.
How did you get started in your craft?
My mother taught me to sew when I was in high school and I studied visual design in college. Marry the two and my craft was instilled at an early age. I am lucky to be able to do something that satisfies both my analytical side as well as my creative side. I know that not everyone can do that, make a career out of something they love, and I’m thankful be able to.
What advice do you have for others, trying to make a business with their craft?
Don’t forget it’s a business. If you take care of the business first, set proper business goals, strategies and tactics, then you have more time to create. So many people just create and don’t think of the business side at all, and then they either burn out or put themselves out of business before they really get started. It’s a two sided coin, you can’t be successful without some business acumen and of course, if you aren’t passionate about your craft, you won’t be able to stick with it either.
What thoughts do you have for parents on the importance of natural toys for creative play?
Natural toys never limit a child’s imagination the way manufactured toys can. Natural toys are limitless and timeless, making them a better value to boot.
Tickety Bu will be giving away a ‘Vamp’ Bitty Bu to one lucky participant!
The Bitty Bu™ is a hand holding sized version of the popular Cuddle Blanket™, perfect for chewing, squeezing, loving. Made from two layers of luscious organic bamboo velour, with no trim, edging or piping to get in the way of all that love. Sized approximately 14″ square.
Here’s how to enter;
Visit Tickety Bu and leave us a comment letting us know what your favorite item in her shop is.
For additional entries;
(leave a separate comment for each entry, if you don’t, they count as one)
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Giveaway is open wordwide.
We will choose a winner randomly on January 19th, 2011. (Please, make sure we have a way to contact you!)
Julie Hunter is a wife and mama, raising 3 spirited girls, two babydoll sheep, angora rabbits and a gaggle of chickens and ducks in the North Carolina Foothills. She spends her days at home, crafting with her children, homeschooling, taking long gathering walks in the woods and knitting Waldorf-inspired toys. You can find her blogging and keeping shop at This Cosy Life.